Creating an exciting brand brings your business and products to life, but it’s only part of the picture. Once you’ve spent the time, money, and energy establishing a strong brand identity, it’s important that you make sure you’ve got an equally strong brand management strategy in place.
Your brand is your personality
Customers interact with your brand in the same way they would with another person. If we think of your business as a person, your brand is your personality. It’s how customers perceive you, how you describe yourself to the world, and how you do and say anything.
Imagine if a person you met made an amazing first impression and showed you how interesting and exciting they were. How would you feel if the next time you saw them they acted, spoke, and dressed completely differently to the first time? You’d likely feel a bit uneasy about them or find it hard to trust them.
Similarly, if someone you knew never adapted or grew as a person even though their world was doing so, you might view them as out-of-touch or stale.
Your brand should be consistent to allow customers to recognise and trust you, but it will also need to evolve over time as you respond to events.
Check out our top ways to ensure your brand management strategy is effective so that you can create value around your products or services, build relationships and loyalty with customers, help brand awareness and improve your sales.
Maintain consistency across all channels
Keeping your brand consistent whether it’s online or in-store means customers are more likely to recognise and connect with your brand.
“Consistency is what allows us to function in an overwhelmingly complex world. Inconsistencies are unsettling. We rationalize our thoughts to avoid cognitive dissonance, the mental stress and tension of holding inconsistent beliefs at the same time”Julie Kay, The Psychology of Consistency and What it Means for Branding
Achieving consistency is probably something you’ll already have done automatically. Your logo, brand ethos, imagery, tone of voice and positioning all contribute to this. The big brands are not only successful because of clever marketing and great products, they’re also so memorable because they have a consistent look and sound – even when they change it up a bit.
Put simply, people like to see things that are familiar and known to them. Change is scary! Your products, your social media posts, your POS, your emails should all look and sound like your brand. Aligning these messages is crucial to building trust with your consumers over time and they’ll be able to recognise you from even your font (think Disney), your mascot (think Starbucks) or even your voice (think Innocent).
How to achieve consistency in your brand management strategy
To get a perfectly consistent brand you’ll need to outline rules and guidelines that must be followed – everything from how your promotional materials should look to how store staff should talk about your products. You should map this out in detail and regularly check that it’s being adhered to.
Maintaining consistency in your brand image can be tricky in areas where you have less control. Shepper can help you with in-store audits to ensure retailers are 100% compliant.
Make sure employees are on board
A big factor in brand management is making sure that your employees are fully informed and clear on how your brand should be.
Your employees are your brand ambassadors, whether they’re working in the head office or out in the field. They are there to ensure your brand is as successful as possible and play a big role in how customers perceive your brand. Because people like connecting with people, not businesses, your employees play a key role in helping customers connect with your brand.
How to ensure your employees are aligned with your brand management strategy
You can ensure your employees are using and talking about your brand correctly by keeping them up to date with training, making sure they understand how to use your brand asset and why this is so important. Whether they’re being vocal on social media or recommending products in-store, they’ll need up-to-date information about what they should and shouldn’t do.
Use customer experience to inform your brand
Brands aren’t things that should ever be static or fixed. As the world changes, new trends emerge and customers evolve, your brand will need to keep up and adapt as needed.
How to measure customer experience
Keeping customer experience a top priority is something that can help you evolve as a brand. Regular customer experience audits are a great way of tracking how well your brand is being received. You’ll be able to gather actionable feedback that will help you to respond to any problem areas. This will help deliver the best possible experience to customers, and keep your brand agile.
Like Shepper’s covert customer experience audits, mystery shopping services can help you gather clear, real-time insights into exactly how staff are selling your products.
Keep on top of changing trends
Another way to make sure your brand stays relevant and in touch with your target audience is to complete regular research on what’s going on. You can do this by completing regular research on how well your products are selling, finding out how well your brand is being received by surveying customers and completing competitor research.
To find out more about how Shepper can help refine and compliment your brand management strategy, try us for yourself with a complimentary check.